Are we going around in Circles? Diasporic SMEs: a conceptual pattern in the field of entrepreneurial networks Zubin Sethna Westminster Business School University of Westminster Tuesday 05 July 2011 Academy of Marketing Conference 2011 Liverpool
Abstract This conceptual paper attempts to open up a new perspective on the relationship between modern-day networks and SMEs. Examines the issue of diasporic meaning and its relevance to SMEs today. Focuses on the multi-local identifications. Trust Are we going around in circles?
Marketing Fields Forever Apt for conference in Liverpool... Linchpin theme (300-400 years) holding together a succession of regional and longer-distance ‘trade diasporas’ (Cohen, 1971) or trading networks. Asia – Europe – across seas – globalisation... Fact. Global networks were formed and in existence prior to the beginning of the c20th! Mind the Marketing Gaps! e.g. Social and Commercial History (Aghassian & Kevonian, 1999; Kardasis, 2001), Sociology and Economics (Curtin, 1984; Masters, 1988)
Ethnic Trade Diasporas – a Meaning A nation of socially interdependent, but spatially dispersed communities. A diaspora of this kind is distinct as a type of social grouping in its culture and structure. Its members are culturally distinct from both their society of origin and from the society among which they live. Its organisation combines stability of structure but allows a high degree of mobility of personnel. (Abner Cohen, 1971) Scattered people dispersed – often in some degree forcibly – from their original homeland but not entirely cut off from it, and which then remain sharply distinct from their host societies, and united among themselves, by strong ties of religion, language and ethnicity. (Jonathan Israel, 2005)
Ethnicity as a conceptual Cultureemulsifier ‘an ethnic network based on group solidarity, kinship and common culture provides to its members economic advantages plus economic resources’ (Chatziioannou, 2005) ‘collaborative relationships’ (Becchetti and Trovato, 2002) ‘..Asian transnational entrepreneurs increase their competitiveness by maximising their relationships with contacts in their country of origin and a strong trusted network’ (Crick and Chaudhury, 2010)
Acculturation Understanding ethno-cultural values = understanding ethnic diasporas Interpersonal relationships....network analysis Social Capital Bounded Solidarity
Trust ‘ethos of trust’ amongst Armenian enterprises ‘networks of trust, shared information and mutual support based on the fact that they were a distinct ethnic and religious minority’. it is for the very reason that because diasporas incorporate global networks of mutual trust, that this provides member of diasporas with a competitive advantage over people lacking such links.
The Diasporic SME Typology Cohesive body... Make no mistake... Diasporic SMEs and entrepreneurial typology... ‘collaborative or network arrangements’... Focus on human and socio-cultural capital...
Who are you? Multiple identifications Globalised ethnicities Various interrelated factors of market conditions, selective migration, culture, social networks, and group strategy
An entrepreneurial epilogue... (Harlaftis, 2005) "We can trace certain common characteristics among the development of the business practices of historical diasporas whose practices facilitated the integration of the new economic world system of the modern capitalist era. They all developed in big-multi-ethnic empires and, apart from the Greeks, they are all Asian. They all speak languages that are not Latin-based, they are all ancient people who have retained their own culture, religion and language, they are all multi-lingual with an 'overinvestment' in education. They are all organised in enclave groups based on kinship and intermarriage wherever they established themselves. And we can distinguish in all of them a continuity of old structures and success in transnational business." Thank you.